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Finalist Most Effective Partnership

Signpost to Success: Stockport Homes supports communities to thrive and survive through funding

THE NEED The availability of funding and growing competition for resources at a national, regional and local level are having an impact on how community groups and other organisations provide support and services in their local communities.

THE SOLUTION It was identified that organisations needed to “co-operate to compete” by working in partnerships to identify and secure grants and to add value to existing resources, enabling them to thrive and be sustainable. Signpost to Success brings together 75 organisations across Stockport, comprising: • Community and youth groups • Local councils • Private registered providers of social housing • Social enterprises • Local businesses • Local elected representatives. The partnership is able to provide advice, support and new ideas, put groups in contact with one another to streamline similar projects and share funding knowledge. It can also

develop joint bids and supply a library of ‘bid ready documents’ making the process of bidding easier. On top of this, Signpost to Success also acts as a unique brand with a diverse range of groups, partners and Stockport Homes staff working together to find solutions and funding. They do this by identifying neighbourhood issues and priorities for funding and helping to deliver neighbourhood action plans across the borough.

THE RESULTS In its first year the partnership successfully achieved: • Grant awards of £174,520 • £172,884 of match funding and volunteer time • 52 partnership bids directly led by a community group • 19 community groups making their first funding bid • 26 individual funding training sessions completed on bid writing, project and financial management.


fledgling community groups to work together but this project seems to be pulling it off. There’s a big range of partners involved and effective working across a range of different areas.” KEY LEARNINGS • Stockport Homes identified that working in partnership, particularly when bidding for funding, gave groups and organisations increased value and influence and improved the chances of securing funding. • As well as promoting and facilitating group working, Stockport Homes created an invaluable resource of information and material to further support organisations seeking funding. Visit cfm?type=FUNDING&objectid=3287 for more details.Attached

“It’s challenging to get small,

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS PROJECT Tracy Sweeting, business support officer • T: 0161 474 2637 E:

Finalist Most Effective Partnership

High rise high hopes: College course in external wall insulation created by Salix Homes

THE NEED After the first programme of upgrades to external wall insulation to its estates in 2010, Salix Homes realised there was a skill shortage in the industry, with workers having to be brought in from elsewhere. There were no training courses available or qualifications offered in this particular trade, meaning a skills gap with no way for it to be filled.

THE SOLUTION Salix Homes opened dialogue with Salford College, Procure Plus, construction partners Emanuel Whittaker, Seddon Construction and Forrest and local charity, the Broughton Trust. Salford College agreed to put together a 12 week pre-recruitment course underpinning knowledge of external wall insulation that would make candidates ‘job ready’. Twelve candidates of varying backgrounds were identified. All were then provided with training to ensure they were ready for interview. Following this, Salford College set up a full framework for external wall insulation, the first

of its kind, including a technical certificate, functional skills and a level 2 NVQ. The contractors in the partnership provided materials, tools and products giving the students real working knowledge of the equipment Salix Homes was installing on its high rise buildings.

THE RESULTS Of the original 12 candidates, 11 completed the course and ten were offered further apprenticeships by the partner contractors. To date, nine have passed the NVQ level 2 and are proving to be real assets to their companies. Salford now has a genuine base of trained and professional external wall insulators and with Salix Homes investing £25 million in its high rise buildings over the next few years, everything is in place to ensure the apprentices’ futures are in their hands.


plugging a genuine skills gap and offering training and employment to local residents. Good engagement from a range of partners, including contractors, the local college and a charity.” KEY LEARNINGS • Salix Homes identified a skills shortage and approached the organisations that together could plug that gap. • Through creating the course, Salix Homes has provided the community with an effective source of training and employment, as well as provided itself with a local, skilled workforce to carry out improvements on its buildings.

“This is an effective project,

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS PROJECT Colin Goodall, investment and delivery manager • T: 0161 779 8994 E:

NFA Best Practice Guide 2013  
NFA Best Practice Guide 2013  

This is the NFA Best Practice Guide 2013, produced annually by Acceleris on behalf of the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA), the trade body...